Sunday, May 17, 2009


Denver is big on nicknames... our mayor is "The Hick," Washington Park has been shortened to "Wash Park," our arena is affectionately referred to as "The Can" (it's official name is The Pepsi Center). Most neighborhoods around Denver not only have their subdivision names, but recently they've been assigned "cute" nicknames, too. Here's an overview: LoDo (Lower Downtown), SoBo (South Broadway), PoHi (Potter Highands), WeHi (West Higlands, where I live) and RiNo (for River North). It's endemic.

Today I went to "Getting to Know RiNo" -- a newish arts district north of the S. Platte and Cherry Creek rivers -- a warehouse district that's rapidly changing into a loft/studio district. Today's featured studios were all south of the tracks, next month be on the other side. Anyhow, I went to support one of my fellow knitters and to grab some free pancakes (which I never actually got -- blame sleep and a craving for savory) but it was a beautiful day to walk around and check out some of the local art.

I really liked AnDenKen's temporary exhibit. I wish I'd written the artist's name down (I'll have to google it later), but I did take a couple of photos. Apparently this woman is French with a strong cute/japanamation obsession. I liked her stuff. She had shadow boxes with figures on doilies and other found objects fashioned into butterflies. The boxes were all labeled with fictitious scientific names (species, genus and order) -- the whole thing felt like falling into a Studio Ghibli film.

We also hit up a few open houses and it was apparent that what I've heard about Denver's real estate market is true: that it hasn't been hit very hard by the recession. I was also taken aback by the current design aesthetic (ugly) and work ethic (slap-it-up, sell it). This was so obvious when we stopped by The Pattern Shop -- it's a live/work space shared by a couple of local artists. They moved into the RiNo neighborhood when people weren't living there and it gave them an opportunity to score a large space in a commercial building and design it to suit. It was really beautiful and it was so lovely for them to let everyone tour their living space as well as the studio/gallery. Here's evidence:

I'm really happy that the LA job op didn't work out. I really feel lucky to live where I do. It's a beautiful, laid-back city that's not too small and not too big. There are so many spaces to explore so if I'm home this summer, I'm going to try to get out on my bicycle and do just that. To date I've been a lousy hostess when people come to visit; this will change!


Cheap Like Me said...

Darn it, I didn't get it that there were two different tours in the different months. But we were running all weekend. And we were saying yesterday that it seems to be getting nicer to live in Denver again ... maybe it's an epidemic. Of niceness.

Angifreak said...

I didn't realize it was a north/south May/June thing either... but next month looks just as good. God I wish I were creative... or really wealthy -- so I could afford some of the stuff I saw. Grrrr. Must re-evaluate my work situation I think. Bo-ring.